Osho on seeking and ego

Question – Beloved Osho, What is so attractive about Missing?

Osho – Devaraj, it has a tremendous attraction, because it is only through missing that the ego can survive. It is only through searching, seeking, desiring, that the ego exists; it exists in the tension between that which is and that which should be.

The moment the “should” disappears, the ego collapses. Hence all ethical systems, all moralities, are nourishments for the ego. The moral man is the most egoistic man in the world. And the mechanism is very simple. Seeking, searching, you live in the future, which is not; and the ego can exist only with that which is not, because it itself is not.

If you are in the moment, in the present, the ego has no possibility of surviving even for a single moment. The present is and the ego is not, like light is and darkness is not. Bring light in, and darkness disappears. Even to say that it disappears is not right, because it was not there in the first place, so how can it disappear? It was a pure absence. The absence of light, that’s what darkness is.

The absence of the present, that’s what the ego is. Not to be herenow, that’s what the ego is — not to be herenow, to be somewhere else, seeking and searching for a faraway goal, looking at a faraway distant star. The farther away the goal, the bigger the ego. Hence people who are not worldly have bigger egos than the so-called poor worldly people. Spiritual people have bigger egos, naturally; their goal is very far away, distant, beyond death, above the seven skies. God is their goal, or moksha or nirvana — goals which look almost impossible.

The possible goal can give you only a small ego, and that too only for the time being. Once the goal is achieved you will start feeling frustrated. That’s what happens every day. You wanted a beautiful house, now you have got it, and suddenly frustration sets in. The ego needs a new goal to survive; now it starts fantasizing about a bigger palace. You were seeking and searching for a woman; now you have got her, and the moment you have got her you are finished with her. It may take a few days for you to recognize the fact, that is another matter, but you are finished with her. Now your ego needs another woman so that the journey can continue.

The ego is constantly journeying from the present to some nonexistential future. If you ask me, this is my definition of samsara, the world. The ego journeying from the present to the future is the world. And the ego not journeying at all, simply being herenow, is the end of samsara: you are in nirvana, samadhi, enlightenment. Hence enlightenment cannot be reduced to a goal. If you reduce it to a goal, you have missed the whole point.

All the buddhas of all the ages have been telling you a very simple fact: Be — don’t try to become. Within these two words, be and becoming, your whole life is contained. Being is enlightenment, becoming is ignorance. But you have been taught to become this, to become that. And the mind is so cunning, and the ways of the ego are so subtle that it
even turns God, nirvana, enlightenment, truth, into goals; it starts asking how to achieve them. They are not to be achieved, they cannot be achieved; the achieving mind is the only barrier. They are already here. You have to drop the achieving mind, you have to forget journeying from this point to that, you simply have to relax and be, and all is

Lao Tzu calls it wu-wei, action without action. You have not moved a single inch, and you have arrived; this is wu-wei. You have not gone anywhere, you have not even thought of going anywhere, and you are already there. Suddenly the recognition comes, “I never lost the home, I only fell asleep and started dreaming about achieving.” Those who give you goals are your enemies. Those who tell you what to become and how to become it, are the poisoners. The real master simply says, “There is nothing to become. You are already that, it is already the case. Stop running after shadows. Sit
silently and BE. Sitting silently, doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself.

Source – Osho Book “The Book of Wisdom”

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